SINGAPORE - After four days of fierce competition, Singaporean kitefoiler Maximilian Maeder emerged victorious and retained his World Sailing Youth (Under-19) World Championships kiteboarding title on Thursday (July 14).
Maximilian, 15, was engaged in a two-horse race with Italian Riccardo Pianosi over 18 rounds in the Hague, the Netherlands.
Pianosi started on the front foot and had been leading at the halfway point, cementing his lead by three points after Maximilian crashed and finished seventh in the eighth round.
But Maximilian pulled of seven consecutive victories after that to regain the lead and seal the victory with 19 nett points.
Pianosi, who also settled for silver behind Max last year, had 23 points while Polish bronze medallist Jakub Jurkowski finished with 55.
Grinning from ear to ear after his win, Max instead paid tribute to his competitors.
He said: "Hats off to everyone else. You can see how much work they've put in and how much more competitive it has become. I want to congratulate everyone, especially Riccardo who has given me a real run for my money.
"I'm really happy not for myself, but for everyone else who has greatly improved and given this youth championships a whole new flavour and whole new level."
Maximilian, who is home-schooled, picked up the sport aged 10 and has been in imperious form since 2021, picking up two youth world championships and the Formula Kite European Championships.
He was also ranked men's world No. 1 for the first time last year. This year, he added several more golds to his collection, including the International Kiteboarding Association Kitefoiling Youth (Under-21) World Championships and 2022 Formula Kite Asia Pacific Championships titles.